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Wavelength discrimination in the hummingbird hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum.

Telles, Francismeire J; Kelber, Almut LU and Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A (2016) In Journal of Experimental Biology 219(4). p.553-560
Abstract
Despite the strong relationship between insect vision and the spectral properties of flowers, the visual system has been studied in detail only in few insect pollinator species. For instance, wavelength discrimination thresholds have been determined in two species only: the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and the butterfly Papilio xuthus. Here, we present the wavelength discrimination thresholds (Δλ) for the hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum. We compare the data with those found for the honeybee, the butterfly P. xuthus and the predictions of a colour discrimination model. After training moths to feed from a rewarded disk illuminated with a monochromatic light, we tested them in a dual choice situation, in which they had to choose between the... (More)
Despite the strong relationship between insect vision and the spectral properties of flowers, the visual system has been studied in detail only in few insect pollinator species. For instance, wavelength discrimination thresholds have been determined in two species only: the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and the butterfly Papilio xuthus. Here, we present the wavelength discrimination thresholds (Δλ) for the hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum. We compare the data with those found for the honeybee, the butterfly P. xuthus and the predictions of a colour discrimination model. After training moths to feed from a rewarded disk illuminated with a monochromatic light, we tested them in a dual choice situation, in which they had to choose between the light of the training wavelength and a novel unrewarded wavelength. To characterise the Δλ function, we decreased the difference between wavelengths in subsequent tests. We also varied the light intensity to test its effect on the discrimination capacity. In agreement with the predictions of the model, we found two expected minima of discrimination where photoreceptor sensitivities overlap, as well as a minor third unpredicted minimum around the peak of the blue photoreceptor. M. stellatarum is capable to discriminate lights with a wavelength difference of 1 to 2 nm. These discrimination minima are similar to those found for the tetrachromatic P. xuthus, and are better than those of the honeybee. The moth is also capable to use achromatic information to discriminate between lights of long wavelengths. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
219
issue
4
pages
553 - 560
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • pmid:26747900
  • wos:000370238000016
  • scopus:84962512991
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/jeb.130484
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ef621109-a951-4980-bd15-af1ed93660e7 (old id 8592538)
date added to LUP
2016-02-17 09:35:55
date last changed
2017-10-01 03:23:50
@article{ef621109-a951-4980-bd15-af1ed93660e7,
  abstract     = {Despite the strong relationship between insect vision and the spectral properties of flowers, the visual system has been studied in detail only in few insect pollinator species. For instance, wavelength discrimination thresholds have been determined in two species only: the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and the butterfly Papilio xuthus. Here, we present the wavelength discrimination thresholds (Δλ) for the hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum. We compare the data with those found for the honeybee, the butterfly P. xuthus and the predictions of a colour discrimination model. After training moths to feed from a rewarded disk illuminated with a monochromatic light, we tested them in a dual choice situation, in which they had to choose between the light of the training wavelength and a novel unrewarded wavelength. To characterise the Δλ function, we decreased the difference between wavelengths in subsequent tests. We also varied the light intensity to test its effect on the discrimination capacity. In agreement with the predictions of the model, we found two expected minima of discrimination where photoreceptor sensitivities overlap, as well as a minor third unpredicted minimum around the peak of the blue photoreceptor. M. stellatarum is capable to discriminate lights with a wavelength difference of 1 to 2 nm. These discrimination minima are similar to those found for the tetrachromatic P. xuthus, and are better than those of the honeybee. The moth is also capable to use achromatic information to discriminate between lights of long wavelengths.},
  author       = {Telles, Francismeire J and Kelber, Almut and Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {553--560},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Wavelength discrimination in the hummingbird hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.130484},
  volume       = {219},
  year         = {2016},
}